Last Christmas, a Brooklyn couple purchased a “Punch-A-Ball” for one of their children. Soon, the father began the task of blowing up the large rubber balloon for his children’s enjoyment. Unfortunately, at a stage that was clearly not beyond the “fully blown up” point, the ball exploded, leaving the father “red faced” and plenty sore. At first, the couple gave little thought to sue the maker. After all, their attitude was, chalk one up to experience, but soon after the incident, the sores the father suffered became very inflamed and painful. He went to the doctor for treatment and missed several days work for recuperation.
After the father realized how much this “trivial” incident had cost him, he saw a personal injury lawyer for a consultation. After a short investigation, it was discovered that the makers of the “Punch-A-Ball” were not only making a defective product that had an extensive history of blowing up in buyer’s faces, but the company had had several orders against them to stop manufacturing of the product until the problems were fixed, which they failed to do.
The victim was reluctant to file a lawsuit, concerned that he had already dedicated too much time and energy to the matter, so the personal injury lawyer, hoping to avoid a lawsuit, filed an insurance claim with the maker of the product and their insurance company. Both the insurance company and the maker took a “Sue us” approach, which after their response was taken to the victim decided he didn’t like being treated like this, so he authorized his personal injury lawyer to file suit against them.
Not only was the maker of the product not happy with the victim’s response, he refused to cooperate with the investigations begun by both the victim’s personal injury lawyer as well as his own insurance company, insisting, “We did nothing wrong.” Unfortunately, this left his insurance company in a bad position from which to fight the claim. The victim’s attorney finally filed suit against the maker in an effort to recover his damages as well as to enforce the order that had been handed down previously to either fix the flaws of the product or stop its production.
The maker played hard to get all the way until it was time to go to trial for the incident, but faced with the overwhelming evidence of their product liability, not to mention the problems that were involved with the individual case, the maker determined that the best way to stop the action and preclude the possibility of even more expensive litigation, was to settle the case out of court, which is what was done for an amount that was not disclosed as part of the agreement.
In the end, the product was recalled and the defects were fixed in addition to the company paying fines for ignoring the court order. All of the money spends was for naught, however, since soon thereafter the company was forced to close after filing bankruptcy. Fortunately, the victim received his award prior to the company going out of business.